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Like other page layout applications, InDesign allows users to control the appearance of every element on a page. It helps format elements with style sheets, which collect formatting attributes for easy replication. But that's where the similarities end. InDesign CS3 One-on-One: Style Sheets demonstrates why InDesign's style sheets are far more powerful than anything found in any other page layout program. Pioneering electronic publisher and author Deke McClelland goes to the heart of InDesign's style sheets, and discusses how they define and guide just about every other program feature. He covers how to format words, paragraphs, whole frames, objects, tables, and even entire stories with a single click. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for InDesign Style Sheets from the Exercise Files tab.
I am reticent to tell you what we are going to be talking about in this exercise, because all we are going to be doing is I am going to be introducing the project file, and I am going to show you how rough you would have had it if you didn't have Nested Styles and Auto Numbering inside InDesign CS3. But I don't want you skipping this movie and moving on to the next one, just figuring, well, if I am not going to learn a technique, forget about it. Because I think this is really going to help set the stage. You are really going to get a sense of just how amazingly useful these features are. Here I am looking at a document called Pages 194-195.indd.
It's another excerpt from the Photoshop CS3 One on One book, and its found inside of the 05 Nested Numbered Folder. Notice, there is a couple of things going on here. First of all, if you bring up the Character palette, you will see that I have already got the Step Leader and Step Number Character Styles right raring to go. So those styles that we created in the previous chapter. I have also gone ahead and cleared out all of the numbers in my list. So I am going to go ahead and zoom down here into the lower left region of the page here.
Let me give you a sense of what's going on with these paragraphs. I will go ahead and click at the outset of this paragraph that begins with the word, Fill, and I will enter the number 10 because this was actually Step 10 in the book, and then I will press Tab like so. Down here, these were bulleted items that are indented inside of the Step and they of course had bullet characters. You get to the bullet character on the Mac by pressing Option+8, and then you can press the Tab key after that.
On a PC, it's a little more cumbersome. You have to press and hold the Alt Key on the numerical keyboard. With the Alt key down, you dial in 0149, and then you release Alt, then I will press the Tab Key. Basically the idea there is you are dialing in the ASCII code from the old days. So press and hold Alt+0149 on the keypad, and then release the Alt Key and then press Tab, and that allows you to enter those bullet characters. Then I would go ahead and select this text right there, the Leader Text, and I would assign this Step Leader Style like so.
Then I would select the numbers in front of that, and then I would assign the Step Number Style, like that. That would take care of it. That's the properly formatted version of this lower region of the page. Now here is my big overarching point. There's 12 lessons inside every single one of my books, and every one of the lessons contains somewhere in the neighborhood of about 100 steps, give or take about 50 or so. So that gives you somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,200 steps to worry about, plus all of these bullets that you would have to format by hand. And bear in mind, where each one of the 1,200 steps is concerned, I had to apply two different styles, so that's a total of 2,400 different style applications.
It's mind numbing to have to style this stuff manually. It takes a ton of time and effort, whereas using Nested Styles and Auto Numbering, we will pull this off for this entire two page spread, and actually I was able to pull it off for my entire book, using a combination of a couple of Paragraph Styles. The Paragraph Styles are by the way right here inside the Paragraph Styles palette. If I twirl open the Step Styles folder, you can see that there is Step and Step Bullet. This guy right here is a representative of the Step Paragraph Style, and this guy right here is a representative of the Step Bullet Style.
We will combine those with our two Character Styles, Step Leader and Step Number, along with the Auto Numbering feature, new to InDesign CS3, and we will be able to style all of this stuff automatically. We will put InDesign in charge. You will see its an amazing thing, and its kind of a no-brainer. Now that you know Paragraph Styles and you know Character Styles, it makes a ton of sense to take advantage of Nested Styles on almost a paragraph by paragraph basis. You shall see if you join me in the next exercise.
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